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Balsa USA Sopwith Pup 1/6 scale

100 years of the Royal Air Force this year and I want a reminder of its roots

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Simon Knight19/01/2018 20:40:02
197 forum posts
371 photos

Here we go, Jon hasn’t got round to building his just yet and I need a new challenge. Confidence is high and this time I will stick to the instructions and make her IC. The instruction book looks pretty damn good and having done a parts check we seem all good to go. Not allowed to tie up the dining room this time so have moved to the back bedroom and have 2 months before our next planned guests arrive; that’s my target to have her ready to go. I’ve started an album for this which I will keep up to date and only add a few pics in the thread as we go.

If you have built this model and have some top tips/advice, please let me know.


I have plenty of opposition keeping a watching eye!


Jon - Laser Engines19/01/2018 22:28:08
4320 forum posts
159 photos

As you say simon I have not yet started mine but from my original flip through the instructions its very similar to my flair nieuport.

I was going to change a few bits for scale reasons, but for the most part it looked like standard stuff.

The only thing I really didn't like was the interplane strut mounts (1/8 lite ply is too fragile long term) and the fact that everything is made from laminated strips. It might be stronger having overlapping laminates but its heavy and seems somewhat excessive.

I was also going to make the undercarriage lighter and more scale but that's a personal preference.

have you decided on a powerplant yet?

Simon Knight19/01/2018 23:08:41
197 forum posts
371 photos

No specific ideas as yet, just waiting for an opportunity to present itself; any great Laser deals on offer? I’ve used ASP and OS in my other ac and they have been just fine so will see how the purse strings are when the time comes.

Edited By Simon Knight on 19/01/2018 23:09:16

bert baker19/01/2018 23:17:58
1254 forum posts
268 photos

I have a 1-3 scale one on build at moment.

not sure how your wing struts fit, but I wish I had included rigging wire anchor points at base of metal tangs that struts bolt to.

Robert Parker20/01/2018 09:06:46
846 forum posts
1101 photos

Hi Simon,

A great looking kit, an alternative to the Flair Puppeteer perhaps.

I built their Taube 40 a couple of years ago and found the instructions excellent and easy to follow and the kit soon builds into a strong airframe,(I found this out on the maiden take off when she cartwheeled in and suffered no damage at all).

I did encounter a couple of issues during the build, the first was that the kit had been updated but not the plans. The formers originally were in two, upper and lower allowing it to be built flat on the building board, in my kit these were in one piece not really a problem but I had to lift the fuselage above the bench to allow for this. Secondly, a small point was that the instructions stated "install tank" and no positions shown, and to get the correct position for my motor (Irvine 40), I had to modify a couple of of formers to get the 8oz tank in the correct position for the carb.

dsc05682 (533x800).jpg

Finally, I found that the tailplane flexed a little when the elevator was operated and had to be stiffened up.

Watching with interest, in need of some opposition.



Jon - Laser Engines20/01/2018 10:09:04
4320 forum posts
159 photos

I wanted to fit a laser 62 but its simply too big both in terms of power and physical size. you really need nothing more than a 50 4 stroke and I might ditch my plan for the enya 53 and use a saito 45 instead as the 45 gives my nieuport plenty of go

Simon Knight21/01/2018 18:41:37
197 forum posts
371 photos

Well I have started and built the Port top wing outer panels along with the 4 wing tips which apparently fit all 4 wings the same. A bit more time consuming ensuring the parts are pressed out neatly and with out damage than laser cut parts. Identifying the strip balsa is keeping me amused and a little confused on occasion so having to use the pictures in the manual and the plans to check that I am using the right wood. A piece I haven’t found is the 1/4 x 3/4 x 24 beveled LE so have used the same strip but without a bevel; hope it is the right one and will just need a little more sanding to give a nice rounded LE when the time comes. Other than that and measure twice cut once, all seems to be going well. Prep the Starborad wing parts tonight and build tomorrow is the plan now.


Bert, the wing struts attach to wooden lugs with blind nuts, no attachments for rigging wires as they are required other than scale detail.


bert baker21/01/2018 19:35:51
1254 forum posts
268 photos

Are they one piece Wings or do they have wing tubes or ply braces,

Personally I would make and fit rigging point before it's to late

Jon - Laser Engines21/01/2018 23:40:19
4320 forum posts
159 photos

i would also ditch the ply lugs and replace them with steel ones. When you break one off it will be a nightmare to replace so I suggest replacing them now

Geoff Sleath22/01/2018 10:52:50
3135 forum posts
247 photos

One of the biggest bugbears of biplanes is fitting the interplane struts. It's the most fiddly part of rigging and is what can make biplanes into unintentional hangar queens. For a sixth scale model, look at the fixings of the struts used by the DB 58" Moths. The fixing is very quick and the disassembly is even quicker. It means that my DB Tiggie got flown a lot last year.

As John says, at least change the ply lugs but I'd go for fibre glass sheet rather than steel. The first bipe I built was a Flair SE5a and the interplane struts fix to steel lugs glues to a rib. The annoying thing is, they become detached. If I built another I'd make fibre glass fixing with a big area to attach them and, for security use (say) 2mm nuts and bolts as additional fixings.


Jon - Laser Engines22/01/2018 12:03:19
4320 forum posts
159 photos

Glass would certainly be an upgrade on liteply. Im a fan of the steel plates though as i make a small pocket for it and then fill the pocket with epoxy. I also grind notches into the plate so that even if the glue lets go of the steel it cant go anywhere.

My Nieuport has survived many a rough and tumble without any damage to the plates. Given that the struts are cosmetic, the steel plates have the advantage of allowing small magnets to be used for attachment.

All that said, my pup will be bolted as i dont intend to take it apart. Im sure it will fit in the car in once piece so it will remain a one piece model

bert baker22/01/2018 14:56:17
1254 forum posts
268 photos

My favoured method for rigging at field is the way my DB SE5A has been done.

No tools are required.

It has spit pins forming a eyelet fixed into the wings. Then at bottom of strut a piece of wire is fitted runner down the struts with a 90 degree bend at bottom,a small tab at base of strut wood provides a fixing point for the flying wires.

The struts are held in place by tension on the flying wires.

bert baker22/01/2018 15:12:37
1254 forum posts
268 photos


Simon Knight31/01/2018 17:47:13
197 forum posts
371 photos

Interesting options for the inter plane struts; i was thinking of using plastikard as it is easy to shape and pretty strong and reliable, never had it snap on other uses. Would still use the metal screw bits that fit through the hole for the fixing screw to lock into.

WIngs are coming on now with the main parts of the top wing done and lower outer wings. Starting on the lower centre section tonight all being well. Pilot is painted and I am no Rembrandt, so he will do. Did hi now as I was upgrading my pilot in the Fokker DVIII.


Simon Knight04/02/2018 17:53:57
197 forum posts
371 photos

So, the DVIII pilot has been completed and installed and I painted my man for the Pup too


Lower wing was built as per the upper wing and having learnt to be more careful, made fewer mistakes. Still I couldn’t get the wing LE to match up neatly when fixing to the centre section, bit all looks fine with a bit of fettling and you’ll never know when covered. Tonight i need to shape both upper and lower leading edges; face mask at the ready.


Edited By Simon Knight on 04/02/2018 17:55:43

DaveyP04/02/2018 19:12:56
205 forum posts
47 photos

All looking good, I've got the D&B Sopwith Pup 1/6th scale but haven't started it yet so watching your build with interest nerd

Simon Knight04/02/2018 20:19:25
197 forum posts
371 photos

LE done, not perfect but good enough for me at the moment. Found a use for all that fine dust created too. Have used it to compress into any gaps in the LE and elsewhere, jammed it in tight and then added some thin CA and it seems to have filled the gaps a treat and hopefully added some extra strength and created a better bond than it had before. Tail feathers this coming week.

Simon Knight07/02/2018 21:14:19
197 forum posts
371 photos

Ok, elevators built and just need to round of the edges once properly dry and give them a smoother finish. I haven’t mentioned the quality of the kit yet, but I do think it is very good. The die cut parts actually do come out of the sheets nicely and need very little refining. The wood itself seems to be of a very good quality and it is all coming together nicely. I have struggled to find some pieces when reading the manual as it doesn’t point out that some bits are in separate packets; once you find them they’re great but my eye for balsa in imperial sizing isn’t quite in yet. Hoping that once these main parts are built, the detail of servo mounts, soldering the UC struts and cabanas etc will go well too. I haven’t had much experience of that to date so I am sure will prove my next challenge.


In the background you can see I have started to laminate the rudder pieces ready for tomorrow.

Simon Knight12/02/2018 16:18:28
197 forum posts
371 photos

Tail sections completed and the basic box of the fuselage too. Remembered to pre-cut the parts this time as I find building on plan and following instructions is not the easiest way of doing it when you need to cut pieces to length from he plan but there are parts already pinned to it in the way. Simple I know but one lesson I have finally learnt!

Simon Knight12/02/2018 16:18:30
197 forum posts
371 photos

Tail sections completed and the basic box of the fuselage too. Remembered to pre-cut the parts this time as I find building on plan and following instructions is not the easiest way of doing it when you need to cut pieces to length from he plan but there are parts already pinned to it in the way. Simple I know but one lesson I have finally learnt!


img_1654 (edited).jpg

Edited By Simon Knight on 12/02/2018 16:31:26

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